Plz hlp soon, Chameleon vomited, now has breathing problems

Reddogzz

New Member
My baby-sized chameleon caught a large cricket (too large) and threw it up (lots of foam) Now she is having a hard time breathing gasping popping and still a bit of foam.

Normally I would think this is a URI but I know she threw up earlier because she somehow got a hold of a cricket that is the size of her head.

She opens her mouth wide like yawning and gasps for air, I just noticed a few bubbles in her mouth. Did she burn her throat? is there still something stuck? What can I do.

I can water down some baytril but she is only 2 inches when stretched out from head to tail (she is a runt)
 

Reddogzz

New Member
She looks as though she is gagging she looks down and sticks her tongue partially out like she did when she was throwing up earlier but this time she is not throwing anything up.
 

junglefries

Established Member
Most likely has a piece stuck in her throat. Like that french fry piece or simmilar we all get stuck in the side of our throat. Make sure plenty of drinking water is available. Maybe gently rub under her throat. Should work itself loose or out in 24 hours or so.
 

Reddogzz

New Member
I just gave her some baytril diluted for her size, she is only about 1-2 inches long , she is a runt. I don't know what to do, she was perfectly normal yesterday. She started acting like this ever since she threw up the giant cricket (relative)
 

Reddogzz

New Member
Most likely has a piece stuck in her throat. Like that french fry piece or simmilar we all get stuck in the side of our throat. Make sure plenty of drinking water is available. Maybe gently rub under her throat. Should work itself loose or out in 24 hours or so.
This makes more sense, did not want to take any chances so I jumped at applying baytril.

If it is something still stuck, is there a risk of her dying from it? I know she threw up the head and body of the cricket all at once but maybe a leg got stuck.
 

junglefries

Established Member
This makes more sense, did not want to take any chances so I jumped at applying baytril.

If it is something still stuck, is there a risk of her dying from it? I know she threw up the head and body of the cricket all at once but maybe a leg got stuck.
All due to the way herps mouth are setup. Easier for food pieces to get stuck. I feed my adult chams medium crickets to prevent this. I would just make drinking water present as much as possible (i.e. drip) and lightly stroke her throat, if she is open to it. You don't want to cause extra stress. Chances are, if correct diagnosis, she should straighten it out. She should either swollow it or regurgitate the rest of it. Good luck.
 

jajeanpierre

Chameleon Enthusiast
How is the baby doing now?

It is possible that when she vomitted the too large cricket she aspirated something into her lungs. The opening to the trachea is very close to the front of their mouth, not at the back like ours..

I don't know about the lung structure of chameleons, but birds do not have any cilia in their airways that sweep out foreign debris which is one of the reasons that birds' respiratory systems are so sensitive. Air moves in only one direction across the lungs, unlike us mammals where air comes deep into the lungs and then goes back out across the lungs. Some reptiles have a unidirectional respiratory system like birds. I don't know if chameleons do as well.

Regardless, anything in the lungs can set up something called secondary drowning, where the lungs fill with fluid in response. The treatment for a bird would be diuretic injections (Lasix) and antibiotics. I would assume the treatment for a chameleon would be the same. Secondary drowning is not immediate--it takes hours to set up but it is a medical emergency and incredibly stressful and terrifying for the animal.
 

Reddogzz

New Member
UPDATE STILL NEED HELP:

Her tongue looks broken and like it doubled back into the back of her throat so it looks like she is gagging on her own broken tounge if that is even possible, what can we do?

When she opens her mouth and I take a cotton swab and touch it, part of her tongue comes out of the back of her throat (not where she normally stores her tongue.)
 

SaintJimmy

Avid Member
Oh man, that doesn't sound good. Maybe part of her hyoid bone broke?

If her tongue is non functional and folding over, that's not normal. I say vet time.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
If the tongue is not retracting properly then you need to see a vet. It could be a number of things that are causing that.
 

camimom

New Member
If the tongue is damaged like that, most likely the vet will need to amputate it.

but don't worry, chams can live just fine without their tongues. several members on here have or had chams without tongues, including myself.
 

Reddogzz

New Member
Ok so she was seen by the vet, she is only 6 grams (runt), when she started to gag on her tongue, we touched a cotton swab to the part she was sticking out (tongue shaped like an elbow sticking out of her mouth) and pulled the tip of her tongue from the back of her throat so they could look at it. They said it was really inflamed, but noted that she was able to pull it back into her mouth ... it is just so fat that it does not retract properly. The vet believes that she would not be able to do that if anything was broken. The vet said that feeding her would be a challenge and wished me luck and gave her 0.01 ml oral Metacam once daily for 4 days.

She has not eaten for 2 days any advice on how to keep her from choking on liquid cricket mush without stressing her out?
 
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